Saturday, December 28, 2013

Ideas for Stories

As I am winding down on my current project, I am starting to think about what I am going to write next.  I just finished editing chapter 6, and working on chapter 7 for the novel that I am working on.  My next project that I plan on putting up on Amazon is going to be using the world of Wool via Kindle Worlds.  After that I will be working on the second book of the Virtual Wars series.  Below is a list of the ideas I have for stories I want to write.  Which one do you think I should write next?  Should I publish the first draft on Wattpad like I have been doing with The Ghost short story? What do you think?

The Curse

This is a tale of a boy who is cursed while still in the womb.  His mother dies during childbirth.  His skin is red and everything he touches catches fire or melts.  He grows up and goes on an adventure trying to have the curse lifted.  I  have written the beginning of this tale several times, and it has some imagery that I like.

The Last Vampire

This is a tale written by the last true vampire about his life.  With several lifetimes of information, this could easily turn into a series of novels.  I originally have planned this out as a trilogy that starts with the tale of the last vampire.

Grimm

This would be the tale of a Grim Reaper that gets pulled into the politics of Heaven and Hell.  He is manipulated by angels and demons alike.  I also planned this out to be trilogy.  I actually started writing this out as a movie script, but it turned into a story of teenagers getting killed.  I scrapped it because it turned into a slasher kind of flick, and that's not what I originally intended for it. 

Abduction 

The story of a man that is abducted by aliens for some unknown reason.  This would be perfect for Wattpad.  It's the story of the man trying to escape from his alien wardens, and finding out some horrifying truths. 

The Time Traveller

My idea for this story makes me think about the movie About Time.  The story is completely different, but it has the same kind of feel to it.  Most of my thought process that has gone into this has to do with how time travel would be accomplished.  I had a basic kind of love story in mind, but that will probably changed.  I haven't really thought the story idea out fully as of yet.  I abandoned my original idea for this one because it was boring to write.  This is more of a concept idea rather than a story at this point. 

 

 


 





Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Wolf of Wall Street

Rated R / 3 hr / Biography - Comedy - Crime

What is it about?

This is the true life story of Jordan Belfort who is played by Leonardo DiCaprio.  He begins as a new associate in an investment firm making calls to help others make money with the hopes of building his own fortune soon.  The day he gets his certification and is able to make trades, the market crashes.  The firm he is working for goes under putting him out of a job.  No one is hiring stock brokers except for a small firm dealing in penny stocks.  He starts making sales that amaze everyone there.  Soon after, he starts his own firm.  That's when the real fun begins.  Hookers, drugs, and midget tossing all make an appearance with the FBI trying to dismantle it all.

You will like it if...

If you like Martin Scorsese movies.  He is truly a master of the craft.  This movie is a mix of Wall Street and The Hangover.  DiCaprio has become one of the better actors in the business as well.  He has a gift for picking the right movies to praticipate in.   There are a few funny parts, but I wouldn't label it as a comedy.  The chaos that ensues when large amounts of drugs are consumed can be mildly amusing, but it isn't taken as far as The Hangover.  What makes the movie interesting is the main character's life.  His rags to riches tale, and the crimes he commits to build his empire.  At three hours this is a long movie to sit through.  I didn't notice until the end when my bladder protested vehemently!



Wednesday, December 25, 2013

47 Ronin

Rated PG-13 / 1 hr 59 min / Action - Adventure - Fantasy

What is it about?

Keanu Reeves plays a man who was raised by demons, and escaped as a young boy.  He is taken in by people of Ako who treat him like he is an animal.  The lord of the region protects him, and gives him a place to stay.  The lord's daughter befriends Keanu's character as well.  The shogun of Japan comes to visit Ako, and a rival clan decides to show up.  A witch is there to wreck the party.  The result being that the lord of Ako is dead, and all of his samurai are declared to be ronin.  The shogun forbids that they seek revenge, but who's going to let that stop them?

You will like it if...

You like traditional Japanese style stories.  There are many anime series that take place in a similar world of demons, ghosts, witchcraft, and so on.  This is the 7th adaptation of this story, but the first Hollywood adaptation.  Like most Hollywood adaptations of Japanese stories they make the white man the hero.  Keanu definitely lends some star power, but I doubt that will help their ticket sales in Japan.  Keanu's acting is similar to some of his most recent movies where he has the emotional range of a block of wood.  For this type of story that is not necessarily a bad thing.  The special effects are fantastic for the most part.  There are two or three scenes where the CGI animation is noticably cartoonish.  As much as they use it, I'm surprised there aren't more.  Overall the movie has the Hollywood polish, but it's not the typical Hollywood movie.  I enjoyed it, but it's not for everyone.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A New Direction

I have decided to take a new direction with my blog.  Yes I will still post updates on what I am posting on wattpad, and yes I will continue to do movie reviews.  This new path I speak of has to do with my blog posts that come sporadically.  I want to post them with more regularity.  Also writing advice posts are like opinions and buttholes.  Everyone has one on their blog, and most of them don't smell good.

The problem is that writing, like many things, is highly subjective.  There is no one way to do it.  There are tools out there to help, and many resource websites that can provide all the advice you could possibly want.  I will continue to post what works for me, but I don't expect anyone to use my methods.  If they work for you as well then I am happy I could help! 

From now on I am going to try to post a weekly blog post on my journey and writing.  I am also looking for more interaction from the people who take the time to read what I post here.  I want to hear what you all think.  I will post a discussion topic along with my updates. I hope you will all join me in my journey and participate in the discussion.

This week has been a busy week with the holidays coming up soon.  I haven't gotten a lot of writing done so far, but I am planning on doing a lot today.  I have all of my Christmas presents wrapped, and the company's potluck is done along with the Secret Santa gift exchange.  I made some fantastic no bake cookies.  Today's schedule has been cleared for writing.  I am editing the last paragraph of Chapter 6, and hopefully making some good progress towards Chapter 7.

Today I want to discuss your favorite genre of writing.  What do you like to read?  I prefer to read thrillers, sci-fi, or fantasy.  I like other genres of books and movies, but those are the ones I seem to enjoy the most.  I was thinking about the ideas I have for stories that I am most likely going to be writing in the future, and I was surprised that the majority of them seem to fit more in the Horror genre than any other.  Just like "The Ghost" story I have been updating on wattpad.  I originally started it out thinking it would be a fantasy/adventure, but the more I wrote the more it seemed like a horror story.  My current "Virtual Wars" project is firmly planted in the YA dystopian scifi category.  I try to incorporate the twists and turns that are indicative of the thriller genre in all of my projects.  Please post a comment here, or reach out to me on any of my social media outlets, and let me know what some of your favorite kinds of stories you like to read. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

American Hustle

Rated R / 2 hr 18 min / Crime - Drama

What is it about?

A con artist played by Christian Bale has met his match in Amy Adams.  He is the mastermind who sells fake art and gets five thousand from desperate people who need loans that he implies he can provide.  She makes all the cons work better with her womanly charms.  They also become romantically involved.  The problem is that Christian Bale is married to Jennifer Lawrence.  They are making good progress with their fake bank loan business when they get caught in the act by Bradley Cooper.  Now they have to help the FBI, or go to jail. 

You will like it if...

You like clever crime dramas.  The acting in this movie is superb.  Bale is excellent in nearly everything he does.  Amy Adams is underrated and I really enjoy watching her especially when she's looking like she does in this movie.  Let me fan myself off a second.  Jennifer Lawrence gives the best performance of all in this movie.  Her character is so true to life that it reminds me of several women I know.  She really hit the nail on the head and it's a treat to watch.  The story itself drags in spots.  They could have edited this down to be under two hours.  There are a few scenes that make the movie worse, and weren't necessay to move the story along.  I really have mixed feelings about this movie because the good parts are really good, and the boring parts are very boring.  If you are really excited by the trailer then I would suggest seeing it in theaters, but otherwise I would wait for it on Redbox. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

Rated PG-13 / 1 hr 59 min / Comedy

What is it about?

There was a man who was made to have salon quality hair, and read the news.  He assembled a news team that was unlike any other.  Champ Kind knows how to say "Whammy!" really loud.  Brian Fontana is the investigative journalist with the exotic cologne collection that may frighten small children.  Brick Tamland loves lamp and is not ashamed to say it.  Together they follow this man to the ends of the earth in search of the best news stories and adorable animal tricks.  The man, the myth, the legend is Ron Burgundy, and this is the continuation of his story.

You will like it if...

What the crap are you reading this for?  Go see it!  OK OK so Will Ferrell's humor is not for everyone, but if you are the least bit interested then you will probably enjoy it.  This sequel isn't as good as the original, but not many comedies are.  There is more physical humor which makes it less quotable than the first, but there are still some nice gems spread throughout.  From the reviews I have read, that seems to be a major complaint which doesn't make any sense to me.  You can quote the original almost from start to finish.  It would be a massive accomplishment to be able to repeat that.  This is still one of Ferrell's better movies.  Just remember that no matter how dark things may seem, in the end Baxter always saves the day.

The Ghost Part 14

The Ghost Part 14 - The Ghost tries to find a way to escape her icy prison.

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Rated PG-13 / 2 hr 41 min / Adventure - Drama - Fantasy

What is it about? 

When we last left our heroes, they had just escaped the orcs that had them cornered at the top of a cliff.  Several falcons picked them up, and dropped them off what seemed like several miles away.  They are still on foot, and the orcs chasing them are riding the fast wargs of wherever they are supposed to be from.  Their quest is still to reach the lonely mountain.  Underneath is the dwarven homeland and an unimaginable treasure.  If they can get the Arkenstone then they can get the other dwarf clans to join them in the quest of killing Smaug and reclaiming the mountain.

You will like it if...

You liked the first Hobbit movie or the Lord of the Rings movies done by Peter Jackson.  It really is more of the same.  I would suggest seeing it in IMAX 3D if you are really into it.  The visuals are just amazing, and the CGI Smaug is one of the best looking dragons I've seen on screen.  Like the other movies that take place in Middle Earth, this one has a lot of the same shortcomings and strengths.  It is overly long, and at times the movie drags.  By splitting The Hobbit into three movies that are all pushing close to three hours they have been able to follow the book pretty closely.  The Hobbit movies thus far have quite a bit more humor in them.  The main gripe I have in this one are the chase scenes.  They seem to get more fantastical and rediculous as these movies continue.  The chase scene with the barrels in this movie is an example.  The escape from the goblin lair in the previous one is another.  In the end you aren't going to see these movies for realism.  What you end up with is a faithful translation of the book with beautiful visuals.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Out Of The Furnace

Rated R / 1 hr 56 min / Crime - Drama - Thriller

What is it about?

Christian Bale and Casey Affleck play brothers in rural America. Bale works at the local steel mill, and Affleck is in the military who is about to go to Iraq.  The movie follows the struggles of both brothers.  Both have tragedies that befall them, and their lives are never the same.  The tone of the movie changes half way through as Bale tries to find out what happened to his brother.  He doesn't trust the police to resolve the matter as the inbred hicks in the Appalachian mountains refuse to cooperate. 

You will like it if...

You like gritty dramas or revenge movies.  It moves at a deliberate pace.  There are several scenes that could have been edited out.  If you are prone to snoozing in the theater then you should bring someone with you to give you a nudge in case you start snoring. There are glimpses of social commentary, but there aren't any profound statements made about the issues displayed.  It ends up being an average drama that relies on it's stars to keep you interested.  It mostly succeeds thanks to a stellar cast.  Woody Harrelson is easily the most interesting character in the movie, but he's also sparingly used.  Affleck is also very good with the exception of one scene.  That one scene was so bad that half the theater laughed when I saw the movie.  Bale isn't given a chance to shine by the bland script, which is disappointing considering how great he has been in other movies.  I enjoyed the movie, but I would recommend waiting for it to come out on Redbox if you are interested in seeing it.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Dust Review

Dust (Silo, #3)Dust by Hugh Howey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dust is the finale of the Wool series. It has truly been a fantastic ride. If you haven't read anything by Hugh Howey, I would highly recommend starting with Wool.

Wool begins with the story of a Silo where people have been living underground for several years. The outside air has become toxic. Wanting to go outside along with other major crimes are punished by sending the criminal outside to "clean". They are put in a suit with wool cleaning pads to wipe off the cameras.

Shift is the next iteration of the story, and it follows the story of Solo and Donald. Solo is a survivor of a Silo that has been shut down. Donald is a senator who helps to design the silos. This is part prequel, and part of it takes place along side of stories in Wool.

Dust brings it all together, and ties up the loose ends nicely. While Shift dragged in spots, Dust recaptured the magic of Wool. Finding out the why and how of things has been the most facinating parts of the series. Howey spreads each bit of information out, and every time you are rewarded with something unexpected. The ending is the only obvious outcome, but you don't know who is or isn't going to survive.

View all my reviews

Currently Reading: Allegiant by Veronica Roth
 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Oldboy

Rated R / 1 hr 44 min / Action - Drama - Mystery

What is it about? 

Josh Brolin plays a man who has been imprisoned against his will for 20 years. While he was being held several tragedies happened. The Twin Towers collapsed, the Yankees won a championship, George W Bush was elected, etc.. Oh also he is framed for the murder of his wife. His only connection to the outside world is a small TV. He is able to follow his daughter through news programs exploring his disappearance. His daughter gives him hope for a future outside. He has to start with finding who did this to him.

You will like it if... 

You like movies with lots of twists and turns that are gritty. I enjoyed this movie, but it has one of those endings that can make you cringe. It is definitely not for those who have delicate sensibilities or weak stomachs. This is a remake of an older movie by the same name. I haven't seen the original, but this makes me want to check it out just to be able to compare the two. I found the movie to be entertaining, but the ending will leave a lot of people with a bitter taste in their mouths. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Rated PG-13 / 2 hr 26 min / Action - Adventure - Sci-Fi

What is it about? 

This movie continues the story of Katniss and Peta from the first Hunger Games movie. They are both now celebrities from becoming victors of the 74th hunger games.  The people seem to think that Katniss and Peta's romance was faked, and that Katniss was defying the government.  This is giving them the courage to rise up.  The President wants Katniss to convince the people that their romance is true, or face the wrath of the government.

You will like it if... 

You liked the first one.  It is more of the same, but everything is a bit better in this sequel.  With more experience, both Josh Hutcherson and Jennifer Lawrence give much better performances.  Jennifer Lawrence was almost like a wooden block in the first Hunger Games.  The special effects are more impressive, and they added some stunning shots of a futuristic airplane.  You can tell that this one had a bigger budget than the first one.  If you have read the book then you know the story and how it ends, but you don't feel any less cheated when the movie ends.  It is a mostly faithful adaptation of the book, and should satisfy most fans of the series. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Creating a Fictional Religion in 4 Steps

A major theme in a lot of popular works is religion.  The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe has religious undertones. Dan Brown has taken his own liberties with religion in The Da Vinci Code as well as his other books.  

This isn't a post about my personal beliefs or what anyone else may or may not believe.  I am not writing this as a commentary on what is good or bad about any one religion.  I am writing this purely from the standpoint of creating a fictional religion for use in a work of fiction. So let's create a fake religion!  Please do not start following this fake religion.  It is NOT meant to be real. The religion I am going to create is based off an idea an old college friend of mine came up with.  He never fully explained it, so I have filled in the parts that I don't know.  The main idea is all his.

1. Figure out a basis

There are many different types of religions across the world.  You can base it off an established religion.  My upcoming novel has a religion that is based off Christianity, but it continues the story after Revelations.  You can build it up from scatch as well, but you need a basis.  What is the main point of the religion?  Monotheism, Polytheism, Atheism, Nihilism, etc.?

 So this religion we're creating is based off The Chickens!  Polytheism at it's best.  There isn't really any singular chicken that controls anything, but this is purely worship of "the chickens" in general. From here on I will call it Chickenanity.

2. Create a hook

All religions have a hook that pulls people in.  They offer a sense of community and stability.  Or they offer answers to questions like "Where do we come from?" or "Why are we here?"  Or they are state mandated by penalty of death.  I don't want to live there!  There are usually multiple reasons for people to follow a religion.  For each character that follows the religion, there is a reason they believe.  Maybe they were taught by their parents at a young age, and never questioned it. 

For Chickenanity there are very few followers.  Actually just one that I am aware of.  He had a traumatic experience as a child, and several chickens saved him.  At least that's how it was imprinted in his mind as an infant. 

3. After Death

The question "What happens after death?" is a major theme of religions.  Some examples of possible answers for a fictional religion: Nothing happens.  Your ghost roams the earth until the energy dissipates. You are transported to a realm of two dimentions where you can be a square, circle, rectangle or triangle. 

Chickenanity maintains that if you are buried in a field that produces food for chickens then you can be reincarnated as one of the chickens and thus obtain enlightenment.

4. Create Lore or an Explanation 

This is basically filling in the blanks.  It's the back story for your deity.  It's the scientific explanation for how characters in your world have their souls removed  from the body before death and then inserted into newborn babies. If it comes up in conversation you want to have an answer that your character can give that doesn't sound like they are just making this stuff up on the spot.  You made it up well before your character could talk about it!  Think of common arguments against it, so your character can address those when they are questioned.

In Chickenanity they believe in the Big Bang Theory.  The difference is that the chickens created an egg which contained the entire universe.  The chickens inside the egg broke out when they were fully mature.  When they broke out of the egg, that was the Big Bang.  The chickens continue to watch over the universe to this day.

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Ghost Part 9

The Ghost Part 9 - The Ghost is meeting with The Blind Man to discuss what took place at the Cabal's Castle.  If the Guild's Assassination Squad isn't after her, she is also going to ask for a favor. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Thor: The Dark World

Rated PG-13 / 1 hr 52 min / Action - Adventure - Fantasy

What is it about?

In the beginning there was darkness.  The dark elves ruled at that time. The light came, and the dark elves wanted to destroy it.  They had a power that is called the Ether.  Thor's grandfather attacked, and stole the Ether.  He hid it away thinking that the dark elves had been destroyed completely.  The leader of the dark elves survived, and rebuilt their army hoping to one day reclaim the Ether and destroy the Asgardians.  That day has come.  The hidden Ether has resurfaced, and the power calls out to the dark elves.  Thor and the other heroes of Asgard are the only ones who stand in the way.

You will like it if...

You like other superhero movies. This is a more exciting and interesting Thor movie than the first one.  It doesn't rise to the heights of The Avengers, but not many movies will. The most interesting aspects come into play when Loki (Thor's brother) becomes more involved in the plot.  The complex relationship between the brothers adds tension and intrigue to an otherwise straightforward story.  The usual bells and whistles that come with the recent superhero movies are top notch as expected. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Ender's Game

Rated PG-13 / 1 hr 54 min / Action - Adventure - SciFi

What is it about?

An alien species invades Earth, and kills a lot of people.  One pilot finds a path through the chaos of the firefight, and uses his plane to take out the mothership.  Now the military is training kids to run their army because their brains can process more infomation quickly.  Harrison Ford plays Colonel Graff who wants to win at any cost. He believes that a young boy named Ender has what it takes to lead their army and end the war forever.

You will like it if...

You like SciFi and Teen movies mashed up together.  It's a good scifi flick that has enough teenaged angst to make fans of other teen movies happy.  It's like a scifi Hunger Games with kids that are a bit younger.  The movie does get a little preachy in spots, but thankfully it's not over the top. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Ghost Part 7

The Ghost Part 7 -The Blind Man sends The Ghost on a mission to make a delivery.  Things get a little hairy when the delivery is to a den of monsters. 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Bad Grandpa

Rated R / 1 hr 32 min / Comedy

What is it about?

Johnny Knoxville plays an old man whose wife just died.  He seems pretty broken up about it.  "It's about time. I thought she'd never die!" His daughter gets arrested for drugs, and leaves her son with him.  He is tasked with taking his grandson across country to drop him off with the boy's father.  The only thing Knoxville seems to be interested in is getting a woman to take off her clothes.

You will like it if...

You like raunchy comedies. I was suprised at the amount of story that this movie had considering who the makers are.  The previews make it look like a low budget smattering of Jackass skits that are made to be funny rather than dangerous.  However, this is a full fledged movie.  There is a lot of gross out comedy.  A few of the skits were so funny that if I had milk it would have shot out through my nose like a nailgun.  Some people won't like this brand of comedy, but for those who do this is a must see.

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Counselor

Rated R / 1 hr 57 min / Crime - Drama - Thriller

What is it about?

Michael Fassbender plays the title character who is in love with Penelope Cruz, and who could blame him?  She is sexy!  He is thinking about doing some kind of shady deal with Javier Bardem.  Javier is in love with Cameron Diaz, and who could blame him? She is sexy and intelligent.  She also scares the crap out of him.  Brad Pitt plays the middle man who seem to have the whole game figured out.  Now who is to blame then?

You will like it if...

You like intelligent thrillers with allstar casts.  The cast is excellent including Rosie Perez.  The dialogue was also fantastic, it made me think I was watching a Quentin Tarantino movie. The issue with the movie is that the storyline is so convoluted, especially at the beginning, that it's hard to figure out what exactly is going on.  It all seems like random events thrown together until you are about a third of the way in. There are a lot of things to like about this movie, but it can also be frustratingly confusing.  I really enjoyed this movie, but I can tell it isn't for everyone.  More than anything it made me want to read the book it was based on.




Monday, October 21, 2013

The Ghost Part 6

The Ghost Part 6 - The Ghost having completed her missions is returning to one of the main strongholds of the Theives Guild.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Fifth Estate

Rated R / 2 hr 8 min / Biography - Drama - Thriller

What is it about?

This is the story of Wikileaks.org.  Actually it's the story of the men behind putting it together, and the rise of the site into prominence within the news industry. The story is told mostly through the eyes of Daniel Berg who helped to build the wikileaks site.  At the same time he tries to keep Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks.org,  from going too far in his quest to release classified information.

You will like it if...

You like true life dramatizations.  "Based on a true story" is just a neat way to fictionalize something that actually happened.  This movie is based off two books.  One of which was written by Daniel Berg, and the other written by two employees of The Guardian.  The script is bipolar in it's presentation.  It equally sings the praises of Wikileaks.org, and shows the shortcomings of Julian Assange.  The two are at times presented as being the same thing.  You can tell that the authors of the books that the script is based on do not view Assange in a favorable light.  Bennedict Cumberbatch's performance as Assange is fantastic, and the story is interesting which makes makes it worth checking out.  The poor script and one-sided presentation are why you should probably wait for it to come out on redbox.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Escape Plan

Rated R / 1 hr 56 min / Action - Mystery - Thriller

What is it about?

Stallone plays a security consultant named Breslin whose job is to break out of prisons.  He uses his skills to help tighten security, and ensure the prisoners stay in prison.  He gets offered a job to break out of a private prison that the CIA uses to hold the worst of the worst.  Once he gets in, he finds out that they don't want to ever let him out.  He has to escape.  The prison was designed using Breslin's book as a guide.  In other words, they know all of his tricks. 

You will like it if...

You like smart prison escape movies.  This one is like a mix between the old 80's action movies that the two stars used to be in and Law Abiding Citizen or Inside Man.  The movie tries very hard to be smart, and it succeeds..  sort of.  It falls short of being as good as those other two movies I compare it to.  There isn't as much action as you would expect from a Stallone / Schwarzenegger movie. They couldn't resist having at least a few scenes where they run through a hail of bullets, and don't get any injury more serious than a hangnail.  Overall it is a mildly entertaining movie that comes close but doesn't quite reach it's potential.



Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Machete Kills

Rated R / 1 hr 47 min / Action - Crime - Thriller

What is it about?

Machete Kills. Seriously...  what more do you need to know?  OK Ok..  Machete and his girlfriend Sartana are investigating an arms sale that goes bad.  Sartana ends up being killed (Noooooo not Jessica Alba!!) after finding out that a missle was part of the sale.  Machete finds her body, and is knocked out shortly after.  Now a radical named Mendez has aimed the missle at Washington.  The President recruits Machete to save the day.

You will like it if...

You liked the first one.  Everything is done in the over-the-top grindhouse style Robert Rodriguez helped to bring back in movies like Machete and Planet Terror.  The action is just as crazy and stylized as the first movie.  There are a few things that make this movie inferior to the original.  Some of the humor of the first one is missing or the same jokes are repeated.  The story is crafted mostly to set up a third movie, so it feels incomplete.  It is more of the same Machete action in a shiny new package. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

5 Ways to Stop Killing Time

Ah Procrastination.  My old friend.  The quiet killer of time.  We all do it from time to time.  Finding things to do to occupy our minds while avoiding activities that would actually be productive.

So what do we do to keep focusing on what is important, and put the distractions aside?

1. Stay Alert

Staying focused on your goal can be tough.  Sometimes when I try to focus on a task that doesn't tickle my fancy, I start to feel drowsy.  There are numerous ways to combat this.  Coffee, Mountain Dew, or any number of other caffinated beverages.  I prefer water.  Water helps you think, and provides a grand list of benefits almost as long as Santa's Naughty/Nice list.  I also take Vitamin B 12 supplements when I feel sluggish about 1 or 2 times a week.  It's one of the main ingredients in energy drinks like 5 Hour Energy.  You might not notice a difference when you take it, but it provides loads of energy and helps you keep focus.  It's not a miracle way to keep from falling asleep though.  If you've been up for 56 hours straight then maybe you should take a nap, and try to be productive again when you wake up.

2. Put your toys away

It's easy to get distracted when your smartphone is buzzing with twitter updates every 10 seconds.  That's about how often Miley Cyrus is doing something shocking now.  She's gotta promote her new album somehow!  Seriously.. You can catch up later on what kind of trouble Justin Bieber's two hoodlum friends are getting him into.  This includes staying away from TV, that book you can't wait to read, or any other form of entertainment that may distract you.  Put all of those distractions in another room if you have to.  Out of sight, out of mind. Music is about the only exception, and that's only if you can avoid stopping mid-thought so you can sing along.  Certain kinds of music can help you focus and be more productive.  See what works for you and what doesn't.  I'm currently listening to my Bruno Mars station on Pandora.

3. Grab a light snack

This doesn't mean you should get a big brownie, cover it in ice cream, and then add whipped cream and a cherry on top.  You want something that will hold off the cravings, but won't distract you from what you are doing.  A bowl of nuts, potato chips, or popcorn would work.  My current favorites are the Special K Butter Flavored Popcorn Chips and this lightly salted garlic butter popcorn by Orville Redenbacher.  I'm currently grabbing one or two pieces of the garlic popcorn here and there. Neither are good enough to make me stop writing and gobble down as much as I can, but they keep any cravings away while being light enough not to ruin my dinner later.  When you eat something it can provide an energy boost that keeps you going.

4. Stay glued to your seat

You aren't going to get much done if you are constantly getting up.  Neccessities are exempt from this like going to the bathroom, refilling your glass of water, running from Godzilla, etc..  Try to stay sitting in an upright position with your current project in front of you.  If you are stuck there then you might as well be productive!  It's also kinda hard to write when you're standing on your head, so stop trying that.  It doesn't work.  Trust me.

5. Get pumped up!

Remember why you got into this spot in the first place.  There is usually a good reason to get excited about getting through the tedious parts of a project.  If you can't think of one then make one up!  Give yourself an incentive to get through this moment.  Sometimes an impending reward will give you the motivation to get through.  Getting back to the toys you put away earlier is sometimes enough, but when it isn't you need to treat yourself to something you don't usually have.  You have to motivate youself to get through to the other side.  The more excited you can make yourself to see the other side can sometimes dictate how quickly you reach that end.  Now that I'm done with this post I'm going to reward myself with the joy of playing with a cuddly puppy who has been nudging my closed door.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Currently Reading: Dust

Author: Hugh Howey
Website: http://www.hughhowey.com/

Dust is the latest installment of the Wool series that has been fantastic thus far.  Dust on Goodreads.


Prior Read: Night Bells - (Review)












Friday, October 4, 2013

Gravity

Rated PG-13 / 1 hr 30 min / Drama - Sci Fi - Thriller

What is it about?

The Russians blow up one of their sattelites, and it cases a debris field. No big deal.  Russians blow stuff up sometimes.  The debris field causes a chain reaction that makes a huge debris field, and it's heading right for Sandra Bullock and George Clooney! Oh Noes!  The other cast members are there just to die.  After the debris field comes through, it's Sandra and George floating in space.

You will like it if...  

You like looking at Ooo Shiny!  You might also like it if you get an erection every time George Clooney or Sandra Bullock show up on screen.  There are some impressive visuals in this movie.  There is also a lot of tension because Sandra is always running out of air.  It's a survival movie.  It's like Cast Away where Sandra is Tom Hanks and George Clooney is Wilson (the volleyball).  Unfortunately in between the action scenes, the movie is Sandra Bullock floating in space and freaking out.  Cast Away was a much better movie.  The story in this movie is either non-existant or very predictable.  Two minutes into the movie you already know a certain character is going to die.  There are three major sections in the movie, and all three are mostly a rehash of the previous section.  There is enough action in it to distract you from the films shortcomings, but the movie was too vapid for my tastes.  A lot of people will enjoy this movie for the shiny pictures and tense action.  A lot of people will hate it because it is severely lacking in every other respect. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Critical Reading: 4 things I look for

Since I have started trying to take writing more seriously, I have noticed a change in my reading habits.  Before I would enjoy the story for what it was, and move on.  Now I'm looking at things with a more critical eye.  I make mental notes of what works and what doesn't.  I look for things that can help me improve my writing. Every good writer also reads.  It's not all research!  All work and no play makes John want to give Godzilla a hug.  Godzilla doesn't hug...

1. Dialogue

This is something I feel like I struggle with.  I have gotten complements about my use of dialogue, but I am never satisfied with the way it turns out. I enjoy reading witty banter between interesting characters.  I also observe the nuances that give each character their unique voice.  One character says TOE MAY TOE another says TOE MAH TOE.

2. Pacing 

For me this is all about filling the gaps between major plot points.  How do you keep the story going?  Is it unbearably slow in between points in the action?  Do the pages keep flying by?  My favorite authors seem to keep me up until 5 AM turning pages until I can't stay up any longer by keeping a fast pace.  Sleep?  What are you talking about?

3. Story Structure

I am looking for the Hook at the beginning.  Do they use a Prologue? Is there a Reveal of some sort?  Is it obvious?  What was the timing of the Reveal? What is the conflict? Did we ever find Waldo?

4. Enjoyment Factor 

I am a sucker for a good story.  Who isn't? I can forgive minor errors or terrible moments of dialogue.  Self-indulgent prose filling the gaps between plot points.  I just ask myself, "What made this story enjoyable?"  That's what I want to add to my own writing.  Then I say "Weeeeeeeeeeeeee", and run around in circles until I fall down.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Rush

Rated R / 2 hr 3 min / Action - Biography - Drama

What is it about?

This is the real life story of racecar drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda.  Lauda is very intelligent and obsessed with winning. Hunt wants to be the best, but he also wants to party.  Lauda is socially awkward and very uptight.  Hunt is arrogant and lacks dicipline, but is very talented.  Their personalities clash from the start, and they are both willing to do just about anything to beat the other.

You will like it if... 

You like rivalry movies.  Movies like "Warrior".  It's hard to come up with a good comparison because they don't make a lot of movies like this one.  It's a mix mash of a racing movie like "Driven", a movie of drunken debauchery like "Wedding Crashers", and a season long rivalry movie like just about any sports movie ever made.  It's also an interesting contrast between a hard working uptight man vs. a supremely talented man who doesn't seem to take anything seriously.  This story has many levels to it.  This true story is interesting similar to a documentary, but also entertaining in it's presentation.  I  would recommend this movie for anyone that is interested in seeing it.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Prisoners

Rated R / 2 hr 33 min / Crime - Drama - Thriller

What is it about? 

Two families are torn apart when the youngest member of each is kidnapped.  They were friends going down the street for a few minutes then they disappear.  Hugh Jackman plays one of the fathers whose grief and anger turns into obsession.  He enlists the help of his friend, the other father, played by Terrance Howard.  Jake Gyllenhaal plays the police officer who is looking for the girls, and he has solved every case he has ever been assigned to.

You will like it if... 

You like movies with a good story.  The pacing in this one is deliberate for dramatic effect.  If you are prone to falling asleep then you might want to invite a friend to elbow you just in case.  While lacking in action, the story is fantastic.  There are a lot of twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat.  It's a whodunit where breadcrumbs are left along the way that invite you to figure it out.  The cast is top notch, and they all do an excellent job.  My only complaint is that Terrance Howard doesn't have a bigger role, but the movie is long enough as it is.  If you are thinking about going to see this one then stop thinking and go see it.  This is a prime example of the kind of movie I enjoy the most. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

5 Tips towards Staying Positive in a Mad World

As I write this I have a horrendous headcold that is making my whole body ache.  In spite of this, I am happy and staying positive.  If you aren't happy and/or positive then you need to look at the picture of the sleeping puppy more!  Seriously..  Puppy!  OK OK..  this post isn't about puppies.  This is about keeping that positivity going, and how I am able to accomplish this even with all the craziness that is going on in the world.

Why do I need to stay positive?? I'm cranky and I want my MTV to have music again!

In a world of negativity, you can be different.  You can be the light that everyone gravitates towards.  There is the saying that "Misery loves company", but that's more for people you already know.  Think about who comes by when you're sick.  Your mom?  girlfriend/boyfriend?  Everyone else is like "EWW Germs!"

As a writer I am always trying to reach new people to build up a bigger following.  People always follow celebrities because they are successful or sexy or have money etc..  They think of all of the positive things that those people have.  It makes them feel better to root for something positive even if it's for someone else.  If you project that same kind of positivity then you can make others feel the same thing.  Being positive makes it easier to make connections.

Below are some tips towards staying positive that I use:

1 - Choose to be Happy!

I know I know..  I never said this would be easy.  I realized that happiness is a choice several years ago, and worked towards the goal for several years.  I do still have my down times, but I remind myself that no matter how stupid or evil the situation is, I am still alive. Even when everything seems stacked against me, I know that it will be OK. Sometimes it's impossible to stay happy all of the time, and that's OK too. It's impossible to stay positive in every situation, but the point of all of this is to try.

2 - It is NOT that Serious!

"But Brian it IS that serious!"
Is there a PEZ gun to your head?  I didn't think so.  What happens if you don't get to 5000 followers on twitter by Friday?  Not much.  What happens if you don't write 2000 words today?  Not the end of the world.  Your book getting rejected by every agent and/or publisher is not going to be the cause of the zombie apocalypse.  Use it as motivation to do better, or as a sign that you need to do another revision. 

3 - Other people's problems are not your problems

Unless, of course, you are both being chased by Godzilla.  Then you might be in trouble.  Sometimes people will try to bring you down because they have their own personal problems.  I try to be supportive and help if I can, but when they try to rain on my parade.  I  get an umbrella and keep things moving.  It helps a lot to remind yourself that it's their problem, not yours.  Especially when it comes to dealing with people who hate you for no reason.  If you have no idea why they hate you and they won't tell you..  their problem not yours.  Don't let others drag you down into the pit of despair.  I guarantee you someone will try.

4 - Words only have the power that you give them

Anything that is said that will make you offended, angry, or otherwise flustered can be avoided.  Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never pee in your corn flakes.  People give power over to words, and let those phrases effect them emotionally.  Don't let them effect you in a negative way.

5 -When in doubt, throw a tentacle monster made of Jello at it!  

Sometimes you have to take things to the silliest extreme that you can.  Whenever you need a pick me up, think of the most comedic way to describe something.  You can also try to make something up.  Write a bunch of silly words on small slips of paper, and put them in a cup or a hat.  Pick out 2 or 3 of them at a time, and make up an origin story for your "Flying Spaghetti Toaster".
  
I hope these tips help some of you to stay positive when the walls are closing in.  Just think "What would Indiana Jones do?" If you have any other tips please share them in the comments!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Building Your Brand

I have been posting here about the writing process and the steps I am taking in becoming an author.  I have thus far been neglecting one of the most important topics in becoming a successful author (OH NOES!). That is the promotion side of things, or as I have heard others call it "Building Your Brand".  I think this is just as important as making a quality product, and you should treat it that way.  You should spend just as much time building your brand as you spend working on making your product the best it can be.  Below are the steps I am trying to take towards this goal.

1 - Social Media 

Sign up for all of them.  Yes I mean ALL of them.  You need a presence on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Wattpad, Linkedin, etc.. Every major website you can sign up for that could get you visibility with potential readers is a good one to sign up for. Getting closer to your readership is always a good thing.  Just don't get so close that they start getting restraining orders!  I will be going over my approach to each of these in future blog posts.  Right now I have links to my Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook fan page, and Google plus profile on the upper left hand side of my blog.  I will be adding more to that list as I go. 

2 - Engage 

So you've signed up for all of these social media websites.  Now what?  You can't just let your profile sit there hoping someone will find you.  Explore.  Most of these will have a messageboard or a search function that will help you find like-minded people to expand your circle.  I don't have as much time as I would like to work on this, but I try to do a little every day. I haven't linked to my other social media profiles because I haven't reached the level of engagement that I am comfortable with sharing.  This is something that needs to be worked on every day.

3 - Provide Quality Content 

As an author, you are your brand.  Everything you post to the public reflects on your brand.  I see people constantly spamming "Buy my Book!!!", "Like my Facebook!!!", "I Overdosed on PEZ!!!".  How many people are never going to visit their website because of it?  How many people are going to tune out whatever they post to facebook or twitter?  When they finally do post something that their readers would find interesting, the readers miss it in the mass of spam they have been pumping out.  If you are always posting something of value then they will stop and look.  They will go back to look at older posts, and recommend you to friends.  Word of mouth is one of the most powerful and cheapest advertising tools available, and this is how you get it.

4 - Help Promote Others 

If you help others with promotion then they will be more likely to help you!  This can be a double edged sword though.  It's important that you check out their content.  When you forward someone else's content to your readers, you are giving that content your stamp of approval.  It will reflect back on you and your brand.  If you retweet it without checking it out, you may find out later that the site supports extreme ideas that are very offensive. Do you really support a company that is trying to genetically engineer a real life Godzilla?  Even if you do, you may lose readers who have lost loved ones to the carnage that the beast has unleashed in the past!

5 - Be Prolific 

Go forth and reproduce!  In writing anyway.  This is something that I have struggled with.  I have decided that I am going to try to post on this blog every day.  Even if it is just to say "Hi" to your readers, it gives them a reason to come back every day.  If you don't have anything to talk about then make that nothing as entertaining as possible.  If you aren't in the right mindset to do that then look online for something new and interesting that you can write a short comment on.  Ooo..  they are making a new Godzilla movie!  See how easy that can be?

6 - Newsletter! 

I know I know..  Where is my newsletter?  This is something I need to put together pronto!  I have heard other authors swear up and down that a newsletter is the best way to maintain a fanbase, and it is especially good at pushing sales for a new release.  
Well that is all that I can think of at the moment.  I am sure that I am missing something or several somethings that are important.  Do you have any suggestions or ideas? Post them in the comments!

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Family

Rated R / 1 hr 50 min / Action - Comedy - Crime

What is it about?

Deniro plays a former member of the mafia that is now in witness protection. His family just moved to Normandy, but they never quite kicked the mafia lifestyle they were used to.  Tommy Lee Jones plays the FBI agent that is trying to make sure they stay alive. Michelle Pfeiffer plays the wife who likes to blow up grocery stores.  Dianna Agron plays the daughter who is not afraid to beat the crap out of any guys who try to play tricks on her.  John D'Leo plays the son who is a criminal mastermind in the making.  Their antics make the FBI's job much harder.

You will like it if...

You like any movie that has the mob in it, mentions the mob, or has the word "mob" somewhere in the script.  Saying this movie is a comedy is laughable.  There are a couple of moments where it could have been funny, but not really.  That doesn't really make it a comedy.  I found the antics of the son the most entertaining as he breaks down how he is going to take over the new school.  The first 3/4 of the movie is standard fare for mafia movies. It's mildly entertaining, but the movie doesn't really pick up until it's close to the end. The movie has it's moments, but also has moments that will put you to sleep if you're not wary.  Wait until it is out at Redbox if you must see it. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Riddick

Rated R / 1 hr 59 min / Action - Sci Fi - Thriller

What is it about?  

Riddick starts off where Chronicals of Riddick left off.  The Necromongers made him king after killing the previous king.  He grows tired of the lifestyle that comes with his new station which also comes with assassins constantly trying to take him out.  He decides it is time to go home, and leave the Necromongers to themselves.  Vaako is the only one that knows where Riddick's home planet is.  Vaako double crosses him, and leaves Riddick to die on a barren wasteland of a planet.

You will like it if...

You liked Pitch Black.  This is almost exactly what Pitch Black would have been if it had a bigger budget.  For those of you who didn't see Pitch Black, it's a survival story.  The characters are plopped in the middle of a situation where vicious alien animals are swarming all around them.  The only escape is to get off the planet.  At every turn they try their best to make Riddick look like a badass.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it is cheesy, but most of all it's entertaining. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Grandmaster

PG-13 / 1 hr 48 min / Action - Biography - Drama

What is it about?

This is the story of the legendary Ip Man.  He was an influential martial arts teacher in China in the first half of the 20th century.  He is continuously billed as "The man who taught Bruce Lee Kung Fu".  The movie follows his rise, fall, and reemergence in China. 

You will like it if...

You like movies that have a bit of everything or are a fan of Woo-ping Yuen.  As expected with Woo-ping Yuen, the fight scenes are fantastic.  Normally if they used jump cuts with in close zoom, I would be very angry with the director.  In this case they mix it with slow motion to make some amazing shots.  Other directors and editors should take notes.  This is how you successfully use the quick jump cuts in fight scenes.  I still prefer the wide shots, but they did an enjoyable and artistic job with the fight scenes. The main 2 actors, Ziyi Zhang and Tony Leung Chiu Wai, both do a good job dialing up the drama.  One of the main problems with the movie is how they break it up so there is no real transition between stories.  They resort to putting text on the screen.   For those of you who are looking for a fast action movie, this is not it.  As wonderful as the fight scenes are, the rest of the movie kind of drags along as some Chinese dramas do.  The movie moves like a snail surrounded by salt hills at times.  I enjoyed the movie for what it was, but overall it's just slightly above average.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Batfleck! Crisis of the Ben!

I'm sure you all have heard by now that Ben Affleck has gotten the role as Batman in the upcoming sequel to the Man of Steel movie.  No matter how you felt about Zack Snyder's reboot on the Superman franchise, everyone seems to have an opinion of Affleck as Batman.  Most have been negative to the point where this could possibly be the apocalypse, and we should all be praying for salvation.  I can assure you that it is NOT that serious. It can always be worse.



Who can forget the Bat-nipples debacle? Clooney did not help matters.  Add in the awfulness of Ah-nold as Mr Freeze.  They really should have made him the first film version of Bane.  He would have been much better in that role.  Anyway I am not here to talk about Batman & Robin, and its many levels of horribleness.  I would much rather have it complely erased from my memmory. As I'm sure most true Batman fans would.

Clearly Affleck is not my first choice for the role either.  I thought Bale was good wearing the cape, but there was no chance he was going to reprise the role.  Daniel Day-Lewis is one of the best actors of our time. It would be interesting to see him in the role, but it's not likely for him to be in any superhero movie.  Gerard Butler would make an excellent choice, but he might overshadow the star.  Remember this is a Superman movie..  not Batman.  Josh Brolin is another name that has been thrown around.  I don't think he's so much better than Affleck that we should be protesting like this is the death of all cute puppies and kittens in the world.  He does have that squinty-eye look that would work well with the costume on. 

So why the protest?  There doesn't seem to be a candidate that would fit what they need for the role who would be a major upgrade over Affleck.  Remember that many people questioned the choice of Keaton when he was first given the role as Batman, and he has been one of the best to wear the cape.  I think we all just need to get over it.  If he completely craps the bed on this one then he deserves all the insults we can give him.  People on the internet are reacting like he already has without giving him a chance.  It's not like they gave the role to William Shatner.  That would be worth protesting!

It is all going to come down to how well they do it. If the script is well written then Snyder will make it pretty.  He is very good at making interesting and iconic shots throughout the movies he has made.  Unfortunately he hasn't always had a Gerard Butler to deliver the lines, or a script that maximizes his talent.  Superhero movies should fit his style like a glove, and we saw that with Man of Steel.  The problems with that movie mostly have to do with the script trying to do too much.  I expect the sequel to be much better with or without Affleck wearing the Dark Knight's cape.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Kick-Ass 2

Rated R / 1 hour 43 min / Action - Comedy - Crime

What is it about? 

Why hasn't anyone ever tried to become a real life superhero before? That's the question that Kick-Ass asked himself in the first installation before donning the green diving suit.  In this sequel he decides that he's bored with life without the suit, but if he's going to do it, he wants to do it right.  He seeks out Hit Girl to train him and wants to team up with other heroes that have come out of the closet wearing their mostly silly costumes. Cris D'Amico is also putting together his own supervillain crew to try to get back at Kick-Ass for killing his father.

You will like it if...

You liked the first one. Hit Girl is still awesome.  Kick-Ass is still goofy and altruistic.  The new characters are interesting, but underdeveloped.  The sequel doesn't quite hit the same chords that the original did, but it tries.  The action scenes are awesome.  All I have to say is..  Mother Russia.  If you liked the first one then you have to go see this one.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

6 Things to Think About While Writing a First Draft

It's now time to start writing the first draft of your WIP (Work In Progress).  You have your Outline and Character Sheets for each of your main characters. You have prepared for this moment, and now it's time to get to the fun stuff.  This is a list of things I think about while I am writing my first draft.

1. What does my outline say? 

Your outline should have already broken the story down into manageable bites.  This makes things quite a bit easier.  You should have a starting point, an ending point, and a short description of what happens in between all written out for you.  Now all you have to do is expand on the description and fill in the blanks. This gives you a straight line of action to follow.

2. Point of View

I have caught myself on several occaisions switching the point of view in the middle of writing a scene.  If you are writing in 3rd person then you can continue to switch back and forth.  The problem being that if you switch too much then you can confuse the reader as to whose head they are peeking into.  Be explicit.  Leave no doubt who the reader is following at any given moment.  If you leave it up to interpretation then you give your readers a chance to get it wrong.  That can cause confusion later in the book if what takes place in that scene is significant to the story.  I have a whole chapter that I am currently working on rewriting because the point of view it was originally written in made it too confusing. 

3. Tense

Inconsistencies with tense can cause all kinds of problems within the story.  It's easy to slip into writing in the past tense when you are trying to write in the present.  When you're telling a story to friends, it's usually about a past experience.  Naturally you tell it in the past tense.  It's hard to break that habit unless you continue to think about it while you are writing.  You also want to write about actions as if they are taking place as the words are being read.  In the mind of your readers those events are just now taking place.  Their imagination is creating the image in their minds as they read.  Reading a story in the past tense makes me think of reading some kind of news article.  You don't want your story to sound like the news do you? 

4. Narrator/Character Voices

How does your writing sound to you?  Stay true to the voice you set for your characters. If you just write what's going on in your head then the character will sound like you.  Don't work from your head.  Get inside your character's head and role play the scene from their point of view.  If you have a narrator watching from the outside then make them entertaining.  Unless they are trying to fall asleep, no one wants to read a monotone character.  Give them depth and make them unique!

5. It doesn't have to be perfect! 

What?! Did I really just type that?  Yes I did.  Some people like to edit and rewrite as they go.  Really it is your personal preference.  I can't do it.  I have to move on.  If I continue to edit and rewrite it will take months just to finish 1 chapter.  There's no guarantee that the early chapters won't have to be rewritten or heavily modified anyway to accommodate events in subsequent chapters.  Remember this is just your first draft.  Writing is rewriting.   The first draft for me is about playing with the characters and getting ideas down on paper.  You can always make it better in the next draft.

6. Have FUN!

Writing can be a soul crushing experience.  Sometimes you just want to give up.  When you are lacking inspiration, you just have to suck it up and force yourself to get words down.  That's the most important time to remember that this is supposed to be FUN!  If you enjoy writing it then others will enjoy reading it.  If you're not having fun then maybe you need to rework what you are doing, and figure out what will make it fun. Sometimes I will just type random craziness just to get things going.  If you notice lines in a story written by me that say "Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?" or "Dandroid, the motorized Lego Mech, is fighting Godzilla near Guam." then I need to fire my editor for letting those get through more than 3 drafts!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Elysium

Rated R / 1 hr 49 min / Action - Drama - Sci Fi

What is it about?

Max is a former criminal who is just trying to live his life and stay out of trouble. Trouble seems to find him anyway.  One day while at work, and accident causes him to receive a large dose of radiation.  He only has 5 days to live.  The only thing that can save him is one of the healing machines on Elysium. Elysium is a space station that houses a colony for the government and the rich.  There is no crime or sickness there.  Max is trying to get there any way he can.

You will like it if...

You like sci fi action movies.  The special effects are amazing, and very similar to District 9.  The story is interesting and very well done.  The acting is very good.  My only complaint is that every action or fight sequence is shot with a camera that is jerking around like the operator is having a seizure.  You can't tell what is going on in more than half of the fight scenes.  You have to figure out what is going on from the grunts of the combatants, or you can wait for the camera to stop moving for a second and see who is on top at that moment.  It doesn't ruin the movie, but it does take quite a bit away from it.  Otherwise it is a fantastic film.  I would suggest you go and see it immediately if you enjoy Sci Fi.



Wednesday, August 7, 2013

We're The Millers

Rated R / 1 hr 50 min  / Comedy - Crime

 What is it about?

A small time drug dealer gets robbed, and his supplier forces him to go on a drug run to Mexico.  He comes up with the idea of having a fake family similar to the Flanders family from the Simpsons. He thinks that the police won't look twice at them.  He recruits an uptight kid and a stripper that live in the same building as him along with a girl that appears to be a runaway or perhaps homeless.

You'll like it if...

You like family comedies.  Each member of the family has their issues that get resolved as the movie progresses.  I'm really surprised that they didn't re-work this one to make it PG-13.  There are some gross out scenes similar to "There's Something About Mary", but they aren't vital to the story and aren't particularly funny.  There are a lot of big laughs in this one, but the movie resembles a family drama in between those moments.  The outtakes at the ending credits are also worth sticking around for after the end. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The To Do List

Rated  R / 1 hr 44 min / Comedy - Romance

 What is it about? 

A high school valedictorian, who has always done everything right, gets booed off the stage during her speach at graduation.  She is tired of being called a "loser" because she is a virgin.  She decides to make a to do list of all of the sexual acts she wants to participate in before she goes away to college.  The only problem is that she doesn't know what most of them are.

You will like it if... 

You like teenage comedy or romance movies.  Flipped comes to mind.  I also really like Aubrey Plaza who plays the main character in the movie.  I would recommend Safety Not Guaranteed to see more of her work.  This one is more of a comedy than either of those movies, and it has some hilarious moments.  If they hadn't set this up as being a movie that takes place in the early 90's it wouldn't have worked.  Teenagers today have access to the internet and all of it's glory holes. This movie may not resonate with some, but I found it to be entertaining throughout even if only mildly so at times.